Monday, September 30, 2013

Syrian gruntz

Some more Syrian infantry guys for the slowly-expanding platoon. This is the first time I've stuck with an overall uniform look in quite some time. I quite like the aesthetic, although the painting does become laborious.

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And here is a group shot of the whole group so far, schwing!

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Syrian armor hits the workshop

Anyone who has followed this blog long enough will know what originally inspired me to get into modern wargaming was a little game called Combat Mission: Shock Force. Released in 07, the game pitted NATO forces in a hypothetical invasion of Syria. At the time, the idea was a bit ludicrous, but these days the premise does seem a bit closer to reality.

One of the cool elements of the game was the attempt by battlefront to piece together the equipment and dispositions of Syria's armed forces. At the time, much of the SAAF remained somewhat mystical, due to the highly secretive nature of the state and the fact it hadn't been engaged in conflict for some time.

One of the most prolific of these was the so-called T-72M2000. This was a hypothetical update of the Syrian T-72A/M with a bunch of extra features, including K5 reactive armor and a modernized fire control system by TURMs.

Of course, as we have seen, the most modern MBT's the Syrians are currently using is the T-72AV, but given that Russia has committed to continuing its arming of the regime, the idea of modernization jobs ending up on its older tanks may not be so far fetched.

I made an attempt at one of these, painting it in a standard pattern.

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I also decided to strip my previously-blue T-62MV and paint it in a scheme similar to the rest of the force. Although I liked the grayish camo, it always irked me and stood out amongst its peers. I'm much happier with the new result.

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Khurasan has sent me some 1973-era Israeli armor to work on for his site, I am very excited :)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Review: Zvezda's modern Russian Infantry

As many of you will be aware, Zvezda is in the process of releasing a new board game based on a hypothetical Cold War gone hot exchange between the Soviets and the USA. Oddly enough, the miniatures for this game are being released in a variety of scales: Infantry is 1/72; AFVs are 1/100; and aircraft are 1/144.

Quality-wise, reviews have been mixed. Although the T-72BM that has been shown appears quite solid, its Abrams counterpart is abysmal. Thankfully, neither of these were a concern for me, as I remain firmly rooted in 20mm, so my interest was piqued by the infantry offerings. Always up for a good AK-weilding sculpt, I bought a few packets at an extremely cheap price, thinking that if they sucked there would be no real loss.

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Each box contains five figures in separate poses. Two are equipped with AK-74s, one with an RPG-7, one with an RPK and one squad leader with an AK-74/GP-25 combo. The kits are all multipart, with two to three pieces each. Backpacks attached are from Elhiem.

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These are modeled as mid 80s-mid 90s soviets, so all are equipped with body armor, chest rigs, and lowrider boots. This is very useful for me, as it means they fit the Syrian bill quite nicely. Here I've painted them in the Syrian woodland BDU.

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Scale-wise they fit very nicely with Elhiem and UFM, and on the table top would be impossible to distinguish.

Sculpt quality is high, with nice crisp detailing, a completely lack of mould lines, and a stress-free assembly process.

highly recommended!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

New insurgents by Under Fire Miniatures

Under Fire have just released their new Chechen packs, with lots of riflemen for those amongst us who were often perplexed at the amount of RPKs our insurgents were toting around.


These should make excellent 'hardened' insurgents, such as al-Nusra and ISIL for any Syrian scenarios

Monday, September 2, 2013

Sci fi gunships? In MY modern warfare?

Khurasan has had me paint up a few of their modern range recently, so when I was asked if I could give their new sci fi gunship a bit of a seeing to I thought "why not?"

I decided to paint it up for a fictional African conflict, belonging to some form of neo Marxist faction.

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I wanted to give it a real battered 'brushfire' look, with lots of chipping, weathering and the usual biz, while at the same time keeping it believable that it could still get airborne.

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The scheme was inspired by the ubiquitous camo patterns found on many Russian helos, although in this case I decided to go 'hard edge' to give it a bit more of a sci fi look.

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The forward laser guns really give it a nifty insectoid look.

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Scale in 15mm, he is a hefty bit of kit.

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Not sure what I would use it for, but its a pretty neat little aircraft.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

From Chechnya, with love

A few months ago I picked up a Cromwell Models' BMP-T kit, a real tasty bit of hardware.

The BMP-T is the outcome of Russian experiences in MOUT from theatres like Chechnya. Grozny showcased the need for a heavily armed IFV capable of delivering sustained volumes of large-calibre fire along high trajectories, something a traditional tank simply was incapable of.

The BMP-T melds a heavily protected T-72 hull with twin 30mm autocanons, 4 ATGMs, a PK machinegun and two hull-mounted automatic grenade launchers. Its also decked out in third generation 'Kaktus' reactive armor.

As far as we know, this remains yet another Russian benchmark platform, with only a few models actually produced. Given the drawing down of the Russian MOD, its unlikely that the BMP-T will reach mass production, but for the purposes of a hypothetic NATO/CIS conflict in Syria, who cares?